Stories of Our Heroes: A WWII Airman With "Unparalleled" Flying Skills

Photo of Second Lt. Walter Miklosh
March 20, 2024

The Arizona Department of Veterans' Services (ADVS) has launched "Stories of Our Heroes," a new series focused on sharing the lives and legacies of our Arizona Veterans who have been interred in one of our three Arizona Veterans' Memorial Cemeteries (AVMC). 

The series will help keep the stories of our Veterans alive by showcasing the Arizona Veterans who served and sacrificed for our country. ADVS wants to ensure our Veterans will never be forgotten and that the world can get to know them more--not just for their amazing service and sacrifices for our country during their military career, but who they were as people.

This week's Veteran is Second Lt. Walter Miklosh who was killed in action during World War II.

While his time in the military may have been brief, Miklosh’s duties helped millions of American service members during World War II.

The Chicago native served as a navigator in the Army Air Forces in the 678th Bombardment Squadron of the 444th Bombardment Group. Miklosh’s missions provided supplies to soldiers that tied up 1.5 million Japanese troops, who would have otherwise fought the Americans in the Pacific.

Though just 20 years old, Miklosh’s flying skills were unparalleled for that time.

On June 26, 1944, the U.S. Army Air Force B-29 Superfortress plane carrying the 11-man crew crashed into a rice paddy in the village of Sapekhati, India as they made their way to Charra Airfield in West Bengal, India. The entire crew, including Miklosh, perished in the crash.

It took nearly 80 years before Miklosh’s body was recovered from the crash and several more years before he was formally identified. Miklosh was interred at Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Sierra Vista in August 2023.

Thank you Walter for your service and sacrifice. #storiesofourheroes

If you would like to have your loved one featured on our next Stories of Our Heroes, email [email protected] or fill out the form here: